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    "Lepidium" is from the Greek for "a small scale" and refers to a scale on the seed.  In 1753 Linnaeus named this genus and species, the latter from collections made in Europe.
Lepidium latifolium
Lepidium latifolium
Lepidium latifolium (Broad-leaf Pepperweed, Broad-leaf Pepperwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Disturbed areas, shrublands, woodlands, openings. Summer, fall.
Above and left: Knife Edge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park, October 1, 2016.

Lepidium latifolium is a non-native species typically growing 2-4 feet tall (as shown in the photograph above) with a number of stems topped by a profusion of somewhat rounded clusters of bright white flowers and then numerous seeds. The plant is found in moist as well as dry areas.

Utah plant expert, Stanley Welsh, points out that this species was first known in the U. S. in the 1930s from a few areas along the New England coast. By the 1960s it had jumped to the West Coast and since the 60s has "spread over wide areas of the U. S.; in Utah over most counties since the 1970's. Earliest collection from Utah ... was taken in 1977".

"Lati" "folium" is Latin for "broad" "leaved".

Lepidium latifolium

Lepidium latifolium (Broad-leaf Pepperweed, Broad-leaf Pepperwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Disturbed areas, shrublands, woodlands, openings. Summer, fall.
Knife Edge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park, October 1, 2016.

Lepidium latifolium can produce a number of flowering stems from June through October, so on one plant you often find, as photographs at left and above show, all stages from buds to flower to seeds to empty seed casings.

Lepidium latifolium

Lepidium latifolium (Broad-leaf Pepperweed, Broad-leaf Pepperwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Disturbed areas, shrublands, woodlands, openings. Summer, fall.
Knife Edge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park, October 1, 2016

Basal leaves are leathery, 1-6 inches long, petiolate, with smooth or slightly serrated margins. Stem leaves are similarly shaped but are often sessile and shorter.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Lepidium latifolium

Range map for Lepidium latifolium